Association Between Opioid Prescribing Rates and Criminal Justice Outcomes

  • Wesley G. Jennings
  • Nicholas Perez
  • Chris Delcher
  • Yanning Wang
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Criminology book series (BRIEFSCRIMINOL)


Despite the recognition of the current opioid crisis and its potential for serious public health effects, research examining the association of opioid prescribing practices with criminal justice outcomes at the county-level has been sparse. This chapter utilizes county-level arrest data and data from the PBSS from 2012–2017, and U.S. Census data to examine the associations between the opioid prescribing rate and arrest rates, while controlling for multiple community characteristics (demographics, population density, housing, income, employment, and health) in all 58 California counties. Utilizing a series of Poisson regression models, the association between opioid prescribing rates and arrest rates for three specific offense types (violent crime, property crime, and drug crime) and the total arrest rate were examined. The results suggest that the 2012–2017 opioid prescribing rate was significantly associated with all four types of arrest rates, even when controlling for each type of community characteristic.


Opioids Drugs Crime Violence Prescriptions Counties Epidemic 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wesley G. Jennings
    • 1
  • Nicholas Perez
    • 2
  • Chris Delcher
    • 3
  • Yanning Wang
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Legal StudiesUniversity of MississippiUniversityUSA
  2. 2.School of Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Emergency ManagementCalifornia State University SystemLong BeachUSA
  3. 3.Department of Pharmacy Practice and ScienceUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health Outcomes and Biomedical InformaticsUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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